IRC Proceedings: November 9th, 2014 – November 29th, 2014

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: November 9th, – November 15th, 2014



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IRC Proceedings: November 16th, – November 22nd, 2014



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IRC Proceedings: November 23rd, – November 29th, 2014



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Enter the IRC channels now

Links 30/11/2014: Debian Fork, New Mint Linux Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 3:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Issue 10 Out Now!

    Once we’ve finished boasting about the prowess of Linux, we search out the best light-weight distro, look into the murky world of patent litigation, uncover the secrets of systemd, play with Google Cardboard, add more forms of input to a Raspberry Pi and program autonomous battle droids.

  • Server

    • Docker: Sorry, you’re just going to have to learn about it. Today we begin

      Containers aren’t a new idea, and Docker isn’t remotely the only company working on productising containers. It is, however, the one that has captured hearts and minds.

      Docker started out with the standard LXC containers that are part of virtually every Linux distribution out there, but eventually transitioned to libcontainer, its own creation. Normally, nobody would have cared about libcontainer, but as we’ll dig into later, it was exactly the right move at the right time.

  • Kernel Space

    • Nasty Lockup Issue Still Being Investigated For Linux 3.18

      When Linux 3.18-rc6 was released last Sunday, Linus Torvalds noted in the release announcement that a “a big unknown worry in a regression” remained. Nearly one week later, kernel developers are still figuring out what’s going on with this regression that can cause frequent lockups. Worse off, it looks like it might affect the Linux 3.17 kernel too.

    • Generic TrustZone Driver Proposed For Linux Kernel

      ARM’s security extensions are in the process of being bettered on Linux.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Git Yields Performance Improvements For Newer AMD GPUs

        Earlier this week I published some benchmark results showing Mesa 10.5-devel delivering Intel performance changes compared to Mesa 10.3 as found in Ubuntu 14.10. The next logical step to this testing is looking at the AMD Radeon graphics results for the R600g and RadeonSI drivers using multiple graphics cards while seeing what the open-source Radeon Linux driver has to offer if upgrading past what’s shipped in Ubuntu 14.10 and other recent Linux distribution releases.

    • Benchmarks

      • OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 vs. Fedora 21 vs. openSUSE Factory

        This week I posted some OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 performance results that were quite interesting and showed Ubuntu Linux largely dominating over OS X Yosemite with a Haswell-based MacBook Air. For those curious how other Linux distributions compare in this performance showdown, here are some results when also testing Fedora 21 in its near-final state and also openSUSE in its rolling-release form.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Google Code In 2014 : Call for Participation

        The Google Code-in is a contest to introduce pre-university students (ages 13-17) to the many kinds of contributions that make open source software development possible. The contest runs from December 1, 2014 to January 19, 2015. For many students the Google Code-in contest is their first introduction to open source development.

      • KDE at LISA 2014 conference

        KDE was one of about 50 exhibitors at the LISA (Large Installation System Administration) Conference November 12th and 13th in Seattle. The expo was part of the week-long conference for system administrators that has been held annually since 1986. Expo participants included big name tech companies and smaller niche organizations offering products and services to this audience of professional technical people. As we discovered, KDE is well known among this audience.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • Material Design Adorns Desktop Thanks to a Custom Linux OS

      Google introduced the clean new design language this year naming it Material Design. The design ideology of Material Design was loved by many thanks to its clean and simple UI. If you too are one of those in love with Lollipop’s Material Design, chances are you will soon be able to get the design for your desktop. Currently being developed by Michael Spencer, this upcoming Linux distribution is being called Quantum OS (previously Quartz OS).

    • Red Hat Family

      • [Red Hat JBoss Unified Push] Now Available on Openshift

        The Unified Push Server allows developers to send native push messages to Apple’s Push Notification Service (APNS) and Google’s Cloud Messaging (GCM). It features a built-in administration console that makes it easy for developers to create and manage push related aspects of their applications for any mobile development environment. Includes client SDKs (iOS, Android, & Cordova), and a REST based sender service with an available Java sender library.

      • Fedora

        • To Do

          OK, there are endless to-do list applications, each with its own plusses and deltas. I tried the emacs todo without a lot of joy. I more or less settled on using bugzilla since it allowed me to not only capture relationships and estimates, but also to keep notes on various projects or bits of projects. I tend to have lots of things that I need to do “right now”, but even more things that I would like to do if I ever get one of them round tuit thingies. BZ works well for this in terms of capturing things, and especially capturing thoughts on those things I want to get around to some day.

        • It’s a good thing they pay me to break stuff

          Yesterday’s was triggered by me messing up the Fedora kernel package git repository – whoops. I keep Fedlet’s kernel as a branch that only exists in my checkout; it’s not pushed anywhere (I should just push it out on my git server now I have one, but I keep forgetting). I accidentally ran git push from that branch yesterday, and it promptly pushed all the changes on it to master, effectively turning Fedora’s kernel into the Fedlet kernel for a few glorious hours until Josh reverted it.

        • [Test-Announce] Fedora 21 Final Release Candidate 1 (RC1) Available Now!
    • Debian Family

      • Systemd fallout: Debian fork Devuan set up

        A group styling itself as veteran UNIX administrators has announced that it has set up a fork of the Debian GNU/Linux project.

      • Fork Debian Project Announces the Systemd-less OS Devuan

        A group of unknown developers have proposed a while ago to fork Debian in an effort to create a parallel project that would go on without Systemd. It seemed ridiculous at the time and many have thought that it was just just some kind of pressure, but it looks like the project is real enough.

      • Debian Forked, Ubuntu MATE Fabulous, and Fedora 21 RC1

        Everybody went back to work today and there is so much news I hardly know where to start. The top story tonight is bound to be the official forking of Debian. In other news, Dediomedio.com says Ubuntu 14.10 MATE is “almost fabulous” and the Free Software Foundation released their 2014 gift buying guide. Mint 17.1 is almost here and a Fedora 21 release candidate has been released. Carla Schroder has an exclusive on Linux.com about being a maker instead of a user and, finally, a bunch of too-good-to-resist tidbits.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Meizu’s first Ubuntu phones coming in early 2015
          • Ubuntu powered Meizu smartphones could arrive in early 2015
          • A Ubuntu Phone will finally go on sale next year

            Fans of Ubuntu have been waiting patiently for a phone running Canonical’s mobile OS to make its way to retail shelves. Thanks to Chinese OEM Meizu, they may only have a few more months to wait.

          • Ubuntu 14.10 MATE edition – Almost fabulous

            Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn with the MATE desktop environment is a very cool distro. It suffers from two big problems, one of which has been inherited from its Unity parent, and that would be the inability to format old partitions, created by previous versions of Ubuntu. This is somewhat worrying. Samba printing is another disappointment. There was no screenshot problem like with some other distros, though.

            Besides these issues, everything else was perfect. Familiar, friendly, extremely productive. Super fast and super stable, too. There was nothing out of ordinary, no problems. Suspend and resume worked without any issues, the system blazed at the speed of light, and with maybe ten minutes of work, you can transform it into anything you want. Docks, menus, new fonts, new themes, all there, just waiting for you. Total freedom and fun.

            There can’t be a perfect score, because the associated problems do not allow it. But assuming you had this distro given to you, and someone bothered to install the needed Samba package that normal people require, it would be an excellent alternative to many other mainstream releases. Highly polished, slick, and almost overwhelmingly simple and easy to use. The grade is something like 9.0/10, but it can do better. I demand it. For you, this is an excellent test bed. Go for it.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 17.1 `Rebecca` Available For Download

              Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” has been released and is available as usual in two main editions: MATE and Cinnamon. Let’s take a look at what’s new!

            • Just a few more days before 17.1

              The ISO images for the Cinnamon and MATE editions of Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” just passed QA testing and were approved for a stable release. This release should go public in the coming days.

              If you are running Linux Mint 17.1 RC, you do not need to wait for the stable release, and you do not need to reinstall. You can simply use the Update Manager to install any level 1 update you haven’t installed already.

            • Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” Cinnamon released!
            • Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” MATE released!
            • Do you smell the minty goodness? Linux Mint 17.1 ‘Rebecca’ is finally here!

              Christmas is coming, which means lots of festivities are about to happen. For me, however, the holiday is all about one thing — smells. No, I’m not crazy, although many will disagree. What I mean to say is, the smells of Christmas resonate with me more than any other aspect. Of course, the smell of pine trees conjure images of decorated trees with gifts underneath, but don’t forget the smells of cookies baking and grandma’s perfume. All of these scents comes together to culminate Christmastime.

            • Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon Is Out and the Best So Far – Screenshot Tour

              Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” Cinnamon has been released and is now available for download. The new version of the operating system features a major update for the desktop environment, along with a multitude of other upgrades.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Imagination brings virtualised Linux security to the Internet of Things

      IMAGINATION TECHNOLOGIES has announced the creation of a tiny hypervisor rig to power its MIPS-based CPUs.

      The joint venture with Japanese firm Seltech saw the Fexerox hypervisor embedded firmware from Seltech paired with an Imagination MIPSM5150 CPU to create a virtualised environment, allowing multiple operating systems to run independently off a single unit packed into a tiny space.

    • Rugged box-PC runs Linux on quad-core 2.1GHz Core i7

      An MPL spokesperson confirmed in an email that the “PIP39 as well as all other MPL CPU products are fully Linux supported.” Although a specific version was not mentioned, the PIP39 presumably is supported with the same Debian Linux distribution that’s available with the company’s CEC10 system.

    • Hands-on with the Raspberry Pi Model B+

      There have been a several interesting new hardware announcements from the Raspberry Pi Foundation this year. Sometimes I wonder how they do it all – with so much involvement in education, development of new hardware and software, and the many Pi user groups and events. It really is quite impressive.

    • Raspberry Pi and Coder by Google for beginners and kids

      Coder is an experiment for Raspberry Pi, built by a small team of Googlers in New York. It converts a Raspberry Pi into a friendly environment for learning web programming. It is ideal for beginners and requires absolutely no experience with coding.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Preview: Office for Android tablets is like Office for iPad, but on Android

          Google’s Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps are a lot of things—they’re fast, they’re convenient, and they’re available on both iOS and Android—but you couldn’t call them “powerful.” Even the Web versions of Google’s productivity software are pretty basic compared with the feature-stuffed behemoth that is Microsoft Office, and the mobile apps are minimalist by comparison.

        • CuBox-i4Pro: A whole lotta Linux or Android for not a whole lotta cash

          I recently reviewed the Hummingboard, an excellent, low-priced single board computer that competes in the same market as the the Raspberry Pi. Recently the manufacturer of the Hummingboard, SolidRun, sent me one of their new products to check out: The CuBox-i4Pro.

        • 35 Android Apps for Pure Fun

          Why, yes, of course you have apps on your Android phone and tablet. But most of these Android apps are for work or purely practical reasons, right? All work and no play not only makes you dull but it’s actually bad for your health. (Isn’t there a study somewhere that supports that?) So, in the interest of health and the joy of nonsense, here are 35 Android apps that have only one purpose: fun!

Free Software/Open Source

  • Robocoin Bitcoin ATMs Can Now Run Lamassu Open Source Software

    Robocoin Bitcoin ATM operators now have a new attractive alternative to abiding by Robocoin’s new compliance standards. In response to Robocoin’s move to enforce AML/KYC compliance for all of its ATM operators (even non-American ones), some Bitcoin enthusiasts have banded together to port Lamassu’s open source Bitcoin ATM software to run on Robocoin’s hardware.

  • Enjoy the New ReactOS Explorer

    The new ReactOS Explorer is much more compatible, stable, and comes with more features than the current (and now old) explorer. We expect it to be a big quality jump in terms of usability, and the rockstar feature of the upcoming 0.4 release. Just keep reading to discover more about it!

  • India’s offline mobile internet is going open source

    “By giving away the source code, we can ignite the creative energies of the entire developer community and fuel unprecedented levels of innovation in the SMS market. Customers can benefit from world-class technology advancements, the development community gains access to a whole new market opportunity and Innoz core businesses benefit from licensing it with telecom operators.”

  • Events

    • LinuxDay 2014 Dornbirn

      Again the Fedora Project was present at the LinuxDay at Dornbirn (a small linux event near the German, Swiss, and Austrian border beside the Lake Constance). I arrived some minutes before the event started. Matthias Summer was already there and prepared the booth. Well, there was not much to prepare.

    • Learn about open source software in Bernardsville
  • Web Browsers

    • 4 Cutting Edge Web Browsers

      The usage share of web browsers is dominated by a few mature applications. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera account for around 95% of all desktop web browsing activity. However, there are a myriad of other web browsers that are worth investigating.

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open Cloud Alliance Rallies Open Source Community

      To assist with maintaining the interoperability of open source software, IBM and Univention have formed the Open Cloud Alliance (OCA), a consortium that is dedicated to reducing the cost of open source interoperability of open source software deployed in cloud computing environments.

  • BSD

    • Failed attempts to dual-boot PC-BSD 10.1 with Windows 8

      So it appears that the installation attempt failed at that point because the correct gpart option was not specified. The -i option is used to run gpart interactively, but why it’s necessary to use it in the graphical application? In any case, I’ll be logging a bug report.

    • FreeBSD Plans For The Next Ten Years

      Jordan Hubbard, the co-founder of FreeBSD and CTO of iXsystems, gave a talk at this month’s MeetBSD California 2014 conference about the next ten years of FreeBSD.


    • The 2014 Giving Guide is here!

      Today, we’re launching the 2014 Giving Guide, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) guide to smarter gifts, compared with their restrictive counterparts.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Pigs can’t fly: Passenger escorted off US flight after 80-pound ‘emotional support’ hog is disruptive
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Letter: US military’s drone policy worth fighting

      “(My husband Michael Pike died in September of Agent Orange related cancer.) My husband was Special Forces in Vietnam and came to regret his role in the war and what the U.S. government did. I am here today in loving memory of that fine man to ask you to stop your role in the kill chain which uses the Northrup Grumman Global Hawk drone to identify human targets for extrajudicial execution. This is neither lawful (international and higher law) nor moral and you must know that. Horrible acts, like drone strikes, lead to the atrocities we see now. Inhumanity engenders inhumanity.

    • Egyptian Judges Dismiss Charges Against Mubarak
    • Obama’s dangerous embrace of war

      The fact that the U.S. today is increasing its military action in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, after a decade of intense warfare in the region, should be a reason for American officials and the public alike to ask some serious questions about how they use their military power around the world. The biggest problem that we see confirmed again this week is that American military action in distant lands usually only turns those lands into chaotic, dysfunctional, ungoverned and violent places. In the chaos that follows such warfare a new danger now steps in – militant Islamist killers such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

    • In Congo, peacekeepers at war

      Since Congo’s civil war broke out in 1994, it has become the world’s deadliest conflict, pitting neighboring governments and dozens of local warlords in a free-for-all over the prodigious profits to be made in eastern Congo’s mines. According to demographers, 5.4 million Congolese died during just one stretch from 1998 to 2006.

    • New Australian terrorism bill to facilitate targeted military killings

      …Australian Senate has signed off another “counter-terrorism” bill that grants unprecedented powers to the intelligence and military apparatus.

    • £120m deal to promote a form of terror

      The International Business Times reported this month that British and French governments have signed a £120 million pound deal to develop a military drone – aka unmanned combat air system – following a two-year feasibility study. The combat drone could be deployed from 2030.

    • “Global” Terrorism

      Sure enough, there are now half a dozen Canadian planes bombing ISIS jihadis in Iraq (although it’s unlikely that either of the Canadian attackers, both converts to radical Islam, had any contact with foreign terrorist organizations). But Harper has got the logic completely backwards.

      The purpose of major terrorist activities directed at the West, from the 9/11 attacks to ISIS videos, is not to “cow” or “intimidate” Western countries. It is to get those countries to bomb Muslim countries or, better yet, invade them. The terrorists want to come to power in Muslim countries, not in Canada or Britain or the US. And the best way to establish your revolutionary credentials and recruit local supporters is to get the West to attack you.

    • Terrorists actually welcome attacks from the West
    • Giving terrorists what they want
    • Why terrorists love Western intervention
  • Transparency Reporting

    • Icelandic hacker says guilty of stealing money from Wikileaks

      An Icelandic computer hacker and former associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange unexpectedly pleaded guilty on Wednesday to embezzling 30 million Icelandic crowns ($240,000) from the organization.

    • Siggi “The Hacker” ad­mits guilty to all charges

      The case against Siggi “The Hacker” has un­der­gone a sharp turn-around. Siggi has de­cided to change his plea to “Guilty”. Charges against him amount to thirty pages of em­bez­zle­ment and fraud amount­ing to thirty mil­lion kro­nas.

      Orig­i­nally Siggi pleaded “Not Guilty” and the main trial was to take place in Reyk­janes dis­trict court next week. His lawyer, Vil­hjál­mur H.Vil­hjálms­son said at court to­day that “Af­ter go­ing over the charges thor­oughly and speak­ing with my client he has de­cided to plead guilty to all charges.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Oil Price Fall: Saudi Arabia Targets U.S. Shale Oil, Iran, Iraq, Russia

      It is clear that among the major losers in the fall in the price of Brent crude petroleum from $115 a barrel last summer to about $75 a barrel today are Russia, Iraq and Iran. Petroleum sales are 50% of Russia’s income, and are also central for Iran and Iraq.

      But the big loser will likely be shale oil producers and prospectors in the US, who probably cannot make a profit if the price falls into the 60s.

      The cause of the fall, by $40 a barrel, in petroleum prices since last summer is almost completely on the demand side. Asian economies, especially China, are dramatically slowing, and won’t be requiring as much petroleum to fuel trucks, trains and cars to deliver people and goods around the country. Most petroleum is used to fuel transport. Some is used for heating or cooling, as in Saudi Arabia and Hawaii, but that practice is relatively rare. US journalists seem to feel it obligatory to mention US shale oil production as a contributor to the price fall, since prices are a matter of supply and demand, and US supply has increased by a couple million barrels a day. But frankly that is a minor increase in world terms– global production is roughly 90 million barrels a day. Between Iran, Iraq (Kirkuk), Libya and Syria, enough oil has gone out of production to more than offset the additional American oil. It isn’t that there is more oil being pumped, it is that the world doesn’t want it as much because of cooling economies.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • China writer goes on trial for media censorship protest after long delay

      The long-awaited trial of a prominent Chinese writer and activist resumed in southern China on Friday, more than two months after his lawyers boycotted an earlier hearing with Beijing showing little sign of easing its clampdown against rights campaigners.

    • Chinese Activists Go on Trial for Protesting Media Censorship; Lawyers Claim Human Rights Violation

      Feixiong, whose original name is Yang Maodong, was charged for ‘gathering crowds to disturb public order’ after he organized protests outside the office of the Southern Weekly newspaper last January. Activist Sun Desheng, who was part of the protest, was also arrested.

    • Censorship distortion of ‘comfort women’

      The U.S. Occupation censored Taijiro Tamura’s 1947 story “The Life of an Alluring Woman” (Shunpu den) for describing Korean prostitutes in a war zone. The Civil Information and Education Section with censorship power decided that identifying the nationality of the prostitutes constituted “criticism” of that nation.

    • Lessons On Censorship From Syria’s Internet Filter Machines

      Organizations such as Reporters Without Borders, Freedom House, or the Open Net Initiative periodically report on the extent of censorship worldwide. But as countries that are fond of censorship are not particularly keen to share details, we must resort to probing filtered networks, that is, generating requests from within them to see what gets blocked and what gets through. We cannot hope to record all the possible censorship-triggering events, so our understanding of what is or isn’t acceptable to the censor will only ever be partial. And of course it’s risky, even outright illegal, to probe the censor’s limits within countries with strict censorship and surveillance programs.

      This is why the leak of 600GB of logs from hardware appliances used to filter internet traffic in and out of Syria is a unique opportunity to examine the workings of a real-world internet censorship apparatus.

    • Council member objects to museum’s “pornographic” photo

      A nude photo of a pregnant woman at a local art museum has drawn the ire of a Jacksonville council member.

      Emails obtained by First Coast News shed light on the nude photo that has city council member Clay Yarborough calling for the City of Jacksonville to pull nearly $233,000 worth of funding designated for the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art.

    • The Story Behind Iran’s Censorship Redirect Page
    • Morehshin Allahyari’s Art on Iranian Censorship Will Soon Be Out of This World
    • Europe wants Google to expand ‘right to be forgotten’ censorship to global search

      Google should start applying the European Union’s “right to be forgotten” to its global, .com domain, European privacy regulators say.

      European data protection authorities in the so-called Article 29 Working Party (WP29) have compiled a set of guidelines detailing how search engines should apply a court ruling that gave Europeans the right to be forgotten by search engines. As of the May decision, EU citizens have the right to compel search engines to remove search results in Europe for queries that include their names if the results are “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive.”

    • EU demands “right to be forgotten” goes international
    • EU wants ‘right to be forgotten’ applied globally

      Privacy watchdogs in Europe say the controversial ruling, which affects only local European versions of Google’s search engine, should be applied more broadly.

    • When (if ever) is media censorship justifiable?

      How does one measure the degree to which content is ‘inappropriate’ or ‘harmful’? Are there cases where media censorship is justifiable?

    • Russia’s Freest Website Now Lives in Latvia

      Moscow-based Editor in Chief Galina Timchenko was fired for ‘extremism’ after running an article on Ukraine. So she and her staff packed up shop and moved west.

  • Privacy

    • Germany Signs No-Spy Deal with BlackBerry

      Germany has approved BlackBerry’s purchase of encryption firm Secusmart after signing a “no-spy” agreement with the Canadian smartphone maker.

      Duesseldorf-based Secusmart provides special smartphones to German government officials that are meant to be safe from eavesdropping.

    • Big Data Ethics and Your Privacy [INFOGRAPHIC]

      But access to data is not the only important aspect of Big Data ethics. The fact that our privacy is not for granted any more became quite clear after the NSA files were made public in the summer of 2013. All of a sudden it was public knowledge that the governments basically had unlimited acces to all of your data. But not only governments have access to your data. Many of the largest organisations that you interact with every day know probably more about you than you do yourself. Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn know a lot about you, because you provide that information to them. Although Facebook just released a new, simpeler, privacy policy that does not mean that they collect less data about you. On the contrary; they want to collect a lot more data about you.

    • UK spy base GCHQ tapped Irish internet cables

      New documents released this week via the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden outline how Irish subsea telecommunications cables have been targeted by British intelligence.

      The documents detail a whole series of underwater cables – essentially the backbone that connects Ireland to the globe – that are being tapped.

    • Europe’s next privacy war is with websites silently tracking users

      The pan-European data regulator group Article 29 has issued new opinion on how websites and advertisers can track users and the permissions they require.

      The new opinion dictates that “device fingerprinting” – a process of silently collecting information about a user – requires the same level of consent as cookies that are used to track users across the internet.

    • The UK’s Real Intelligence Failure

      That is, the Home Office wants CSPs based outside the UK (Internet companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter etc.) to co-operate with the UK government in the same way as UK-based ones by handing over any requested information. But the Home Office itself admits that any US company doing so would breach the US Wiretap Act. Which means that the Home Office seriously expects US companies and their officers to risk punishment by the US government just because the UK wants easy access to information.

    • No Halt to the Sharing of Medical Records

      Despite uncovering thousands of cases of patient information being wrongly disclosed to third parties a recent review into the sharing of medical records with private sector companies endorses the practice.

    • NHS to carry on selling patient records to insurers

      The National Health Service will continue to sell medical data to insurers and other third parties despite an investigation that has discovered tens of thousands of patient records were unlawfully sold.

      Fears were raised earlier this year that patient records were being misused and sold to insurers, and the Government amended the law to restrict access to data.

      The report from an eight-month inquiry has found tens of thousands of records were wrongly passed to third parties.

    • Germans end investigation into Merkel phone tapping
    • How to stop NSA from snooping on you

      The first thing to know about securing your phone is that you can’t secure your phone.

    • Panel probing NSA surveillance finds legal loophole that lets German intel spy on own citizens

      German lawmakers probing the surveillance activities of the U.S. National Security Agency have uncovered a legal loophole that allows the country’s foreign intelligence agency to spy on its own citizens.

      The agency, known by its German acronym BND, is normally forbidden from eavesdropping on Germans or German companies.

      But a former BND lawyer told Parliament this week that Germans aren’t protected while working abroad for foreign companies.

      The government confirmed Saturday to The Associated Press that work-related calls or emails are attributed to the employer. If the employer is foreign, the BND can intercept them.

    • Edward Snowden Revelations Not Having Much Impact on Internet Users

      Despite the shocking revelations by Edward Snowden about the degree of surveillance carried out by the US National Security Agency (NSA), most internet users across the world do not appear to be taking proper measures to be safe online.

    • The bigger the haystack, the harder the terrorist is to find

      The UK parliament’s intelligence and security committee report this week into the murder of Lee Rigby described British intelligence and law enforcement agencies’ multiple failures to prevent the terrible crime.

      Rigby’s killers together had figured in seven prior surveillance operations during the course of which officials learned that one of them had travelled to Kenya in an attempt to join the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab.

      The shocking failures and bungling that ensued in the years the two men were tracked is, tellingly, chalked up to the “extreme pressure” brought on by the fact that at any one time, MI5 is investigating several thousand individuals suspected of links to Islamic extremist activities in Britain.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Global net neutrality pact hopes to silence European malcontents

      THE ELECTRONIC FREEDOM FOUNDATION has announced a worldwide coalition of organisations dedicated to the fight for net neutrality.

      The Global Net Neutrality Coalition defines the term thus: “Net neutrality requires that the internet be maintained as an open platform, on which network providers treat all content, applications and services equally, without discrimination.”

      Comprising 25 organisations from 19 countries, the coalition will use its site as a repository for information regarding net neutrality laws and legislation in given territories, along with advice on petitioning the relevant authorities to preserve an equal internet for all.

  • DRM

    • Buy from Amazon and Apple and it’s you that ends up owned

      Readers of Nick Hornby’s debut novel High Fidelity will remember that much of it takes place in a record shop on Holloway Road called Championship Vinyl. Not surprisingly, Hollywood deemed Holloway a postcode too far when it adapted the 1995 book. The studio installed John Cusack and his music-buff sidekick in a sunny gaff in Chicago. At least, in 2000, Hornby’s obsessive blokes still sold rotating plastic discs. A decade later, the film business would have treated any story set in a music or bookshop as an antique period piece to feature (if at all) alongside samurai yarns or Roman sword-and-sandal epics.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Music publishers finally pull the trigger, sue an ISP over piracy

        BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music have sued Cox Communications for copyright infringement, arguing that the Internet service provider doesn’t do enough to punish those who download music illegally.

        Both BMG and Round Hill are clients of Rightscorp, a copyright enforcement agent whose business is based on threatening ISPs with a high-stakes lawsuit if they don’t forward settlement notices to users that Rightscorp believes are “repeat infringers” of copyright.

      • Cox Communications Sued For Not Disconnecting Pirates

        Cox Communications, one of the largest telecoms companies in the U.S., is being sued by a pair of music publishers for refusing to disconnect persistent music pirates. Evidence in the case is being provided by Rightscorp, who say that ISPs lose their safe harbor protections if they fail to take action against repeat infringers.

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